Make your own fabric prints using the sun | How About Orange

August 24, 2011

Make your own fabric prints using the sun

The folks who make Inkodye sent over a sample the other day. Inkodye is light-sensitive dye for textiles or any natural fibers, including wood and raw leather. It acts like the Sunprint paper you might have used as a kid, only you can brush this dye on anything you want and it comes in lots of colors. Like orange, of course.

For my first test of this magical stuff, I planned to make a safety pin print on fabric. Something quick and easy in case it was a flop.

I wrapped cardboard with a piece of old plastic tablecloth to make a waterproof surface. I laid white cotton fabric on top and taped down the edges to make brushing easier.

Then I poured a little Inkodye onto a paper plate, and with a foam brush, I painted it onto the fabric. It has a little color in its unexposed state, so it was easy to see where I'd already applied it.

As soon as I was done brushing on the dye, I scrambled to arrange some safety pins on top of the fabric. I was a little paranoid that the dye would start to develop before I brought it out into the sun, so in my haste I forgot to take a photo. (Turns out it's not quite that tricky, so I didn't need to hyperventilate as much.)

Outside the back door, I placed the board in direct sunlight. Immediately the orange color started to deepen. After 5 or 6 minutes it was super orange so I brought it back inside, removed the pins, and took the fabric off the board.

To keep the dye under the pins from developing, I immediately rinsed the fabric under the faucet and then washed it out with laundry detergent. (You can use a washing machine and dryer for this step if you like.)

Here's what the fabric looks like when it's dry. The color is really vibrant, and I was quite pleased. I sewed it into a zipper pouch.

I gave the Inkodye a test drive on a couple other projects, too, so I'll post those in the next few days. It's fun to play with!

Update: more projects are here and here.

134 comments:

Brenda said...

So, so very cute! Thank you for the inspiration.

Betz White said...

Wow, that works surprisingly well! It'd be fun to try with a doily or paper cut snowflakes or just about a gazillion other things I can think of!

Karen said...

This has a lot of potential! I wanna try some :)

Jessica Jones said...

Betz, I know. It's begging for a doily. We could do something like this!

amy said...

I already have this stuff on my "I want" list. I really, really want some. There is just so much that could be done with it!

Grandma G said...

Oh, for FUN!! When I first started reading, I thought it might have to be out in the sun for hours, and I could just imagine the cat prints added. ;) Glad it's a quick project!

Love your little pouch, too!

Mum

Lil Mama Stuart said...

how cool! Do you think it'd work by a window? Or has to literally be outside in the sun?

Marcia said...

I loooooove this! I want Inkodye right now!! That turned out so amazing!

Connie @ Daydream In Color said...

That looks so great! I had heard of this product, but I wasn't sure how it'd turn out. Now I must add it to my craft supply hoarding list!

Naomi said...

Oh, what a cool little project!!

Martha Winger said...

This has so many possibilities. Wouldn't it be great for kid's fabric totes with a print of what goes inside for storage of all those little pieces and parts? Great gift idea, too!

Jessica Jones said...

LMS, I think a window should work. The stronger the sunlight, the faster/deeper the color develops. Try to place it in direct sun coming through the window.

Bethany said...

That's really neat! And the pins are so precise looking! I don't think it would look so good in anything other than orange ;)

Izzzida said...

O! So beautifull!)))

Melissa I. said...

This is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

Kate said...

No way! That's awesome! I've been wanting to do the sun paper but this is so much better, thanks for the heads up.

Emily said...

How cool!

Joana Carvalho said...

How cool is that? I had no idea that such thing even existed! Thanks for the tip! Loooove the safety print, by the way!

Briana Arlene said...

Love it. I am totally going to have to try this now.

Mere said...

Do you think this could work on preexisting furniture? Like if you had a white chair that you were dying to bring to life. Do you think that the dye would rub off on clothes or once its set, its set?

smallgrapes said...

This is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing.

Darci said...

Oh this is fabulous. I see a pillow project in my future.

Anonymous said...

So crisp!
jennyy

Tiffany said...

Oh my word, that's genius! I loved Sunprints as a kid, and am a fabric hoarder now... perfect combination. Your pouch is completely adorable too.

bree said...

I came across Inkodye on another site and was curious as to how well it actually worked and how fast it develops. I'm glad they gave you some to play around with and report to us about! I can't wait to see your other projects with it.

Carrie said...

I L-O-V-E this!! can't wait to get my hands on some!

Jessica Jones said...

Mere, the chair would need to be unfinished raw wood, I think, for the dye to soak in. If it's a painted or varnished chair, I bet the dye won't "stick." But yes, if you scrub the chair really well once you've dyed it, it should be fine. And then you could apply a spray acrylic finish or something to seal it.

Maddelaine Green said...

It looks amazing! Love your pouch.

tinajo said...

This is cool, love the idea! :-)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful -- I have been wanting to make a travel pouch for all my electronic cords. I may use this fabric and put the cords on top to identify which things are in which pouch.

brooklyn said...

That is ADORABLE. Thanks for the inspiration!

Lindsay Conner said...

So many possibilities! I had to share this today at http://www.craftbuds.com/fresh-picks-for-wednesday-8-24-11/

Stacey said...

What a fabulous idea! Does it still look as vibrant once washed? I'm pinning this right now so I remember to give it a try!

Jessica Jones said...

Once you wash off the dye, the difference in the colored portion is hardly noticeable. Maybe it's just ever so slightly lighter, but I couldn't really tell.

AngelCakes said...

Ummmm...that is straight up adorable! YOu are a freaking genius!

Whitney said...

Does it show through to the back side of the fabric any? I imagine not on thick fabric, but on something really thin?

Jessica Jones said...

Well, you can tell from the back which parts have color on the front and which don't. But the back isn't soaked through. I'll take a photo of one of the next projects and show you.

Chris said...

radical. live the safety pins and how you were just doing them as a tester and then they turned out so perfectly!

Casey said...

Inkodye seems like such a cool product! I can't wait to try it out myself. I have lot's of ideas spinning around in my head. Does the dye change the feel of the fabric or make it stiffer at all?

Jenny said...

This is the coolest thing I have ever seen!

kate said...

Love this!! What a fun project to do with my daughter as we burn through the last days of summer vacation. Heading off to buy some of that cool ink now...

The AfterCraft said...

Oh my gawd! The art girls at the fabric store will LOVE this! AWESOME project!

ThirdMargaret said...

One could really go nuts with this stuff.... Can't wait to see what else your creative mind has done with it!

yardage girl said...

Brilliant outcome - nice crisp "print" - love it!

nerd1 said...

want!want!want!
i love it.
Thanks for sharing!

greetings aus deutschland
Dennis

Care said...

AWESOME.

dawn said...

o m g
If I weren't so darn busy right now... oh what the heck, I'm going to order some.

jen duncan said...

That is very cool!

Miranda said...

That is SO cool! Thanks so much for sharing, I'm gonna have to check it out!!

Scissors and Spice said...

That's awesome. I must get some!

Geevz said...

I think I need some of this stuff. I love products with this kind of innovation. I'm thinking this could be really fun on some couch cushions.

Nicole said...

... so if you drew opaquely (with paint maybe) on a piece of glass, or printed opaquely on transparencies (maybe doubling up to be sure), and laid it over your fabric... you could use the method used to develop screens for screenprinting, but skip the actual screeprinting step? I mean it'd be fabric showing through dye but you could invert couldn't you?

Or even just embrace it. And have the drawing show through as negative space.

... HMMMMMMMM.

Kate said...

Can you give us an idea of how big your fabric was v. how much Inkodye you used? I'm wondering how far one of their 4 oz bottles will go.

I'm super excited there's a new alternative to the sunprint paper!

Amanda said...

Wow, that stuff is awesome! So many possibilities!

Jessica Jones said...

This fabric (thin cotton) was probably 11x17ish. I think maybe I used 3 tablespoons of dye? Totally guessing. You can also thin the dye with water if you want a paler color. I also did a project on wood and the dye goes a lot further since it doesn't get soaked up as much.

Jessica Jones said...

Oh, and it doesn't change the texture of the fabric at all. It's a really thin, pretty watery consistency, not like paint.

Susan Jonsson said...

I am with Kate on wondering how far the ink will go. I want to try some Queen Anne's Lace....Thank you so much for sharing....Do I really need more projects....Yep!!!!!!!!!!!

Susan

Tiffany said...

That is so cool! It's going on my DIY to do list right now. Thanks for the tutorial!

Rachel said...

Wow! I love this! Thanks so much for the inspiration, I will definitely be trying this!!

Katie Evans Photography said...

Wow! That stuff is so cool. I never even knew it existed. The possibilities are endless! Cute idea with the safety pins, btw!

Connie said...

This really looks neat! Love the bright colors, will look forward to hearing more about this dye.

The Needle Shop said...

Jess, I think Mere meant white fabric on a chair, no? i can't see why that wouldn't work, but I would test sit on it first. I wanna try some color on top of another color and see if i can get pink and purple converse, or something else ridiculous. :)

Beth of Olliebop said...

I just ordered some to try a whole variety of projects with my kids. Seems to be perfectly suited to holiday gift giving, etc. Thanks for the tip!

Jessica Jones said...

Oh! Ha! I thought Mere meant the chair itself. Cuz I tried this stuff on wood, too. :) I think it would be fine for a chair seat. I'd probably wash it twice, just to be safe.

tiffanyharvey said...

I'd love to know how well this washes (not the initial washing out of the dye, but washing the pouch later on).

Anne-Marie said...

Sounds like a super cool product! I love trying out new techniques =)

Jackie said...

Wow, This sounds really cool. I will have to give this a try. I can think of so many ideas.

Halle said...

That is super cool! I didn't know that there were any colors of "sun-printing " aside from the blue...

Verónica Isabel Pérez said...

Great idea!!! I just love all your tutorials and creative ideas.
So sorry that some products cannot be found on this side of the hemisphere.

saludos,

Johanna said...

That is so COOL! I'm going to have to get some. Love your orange bag too.

Shirley said...

This is so cool! I can't wait to see what else you dye. :)

Cerise said...

That is fantastic! They have such a great variety of colors too! I'm really going to have to try this out!

Kit said...

This is possibly the coolest idea ever! :)

janeylulu said...

This is one of the coolest things I've seen in a looonngg time. I want to buy some of that dye!!

Anonymous said...

That is beautiful and looks like a lot of fun.

Anna Lena Land said...

OMG! I love it! I always thought of this as being blue. I've got to get my hands on some, especially since orange is my favorite color!

Rebecca said...

Love this!! Such a great idea and easy way to make your own fabric. I must get some!! My mind is racing with all the cool things you could use...my kids will love this, too!

Rie said...

That is fantastic! And clever you for thinking of using safety pins! Brilliant!

Liam's Mummy said...

Wow - that is awesome. Such an inspiring project!

Dilly said...

Wow, what a great idea!

http://www.artfire.com/users/auntiechrisquiltfabric said...

Beautiful graphic prints and very doable.Thanks for the tutorial.

R I T I said...

Safety pins !! who would have thought ! lovely choice :)

Mika said...

Love the orange, love the pins.

Imagine making fabrics according to what you are going to store in that pouch.

A fabric with lipstick, mascara etc for a make up bag.

A fabric with sharpners and felts and erasers for pencil case.

What about a fabric with your favourite pieces of jewellery to make a travelling jewellery bag!

The possibilities are endless!

Joana São Marcos said...

Good idea!!Thanks the inspiration...

Joana São Marcos said...

Good idea! Thanks for the inspiration.

VickiT said...

This is awesome. SO many things running through my mind right now to use this for. Thank you so much for the heads up on this product. VERY cool.

Katie said...

This is so beyond cool! Thanks for the inspiration! xo

Anonymous said...

This is awesome! When you say "I immediately rinsed the fabric under the faucet and then washed it out with laundry detergent" did you untape it from the waterproof surface before rinsing it, or did you leave it taped flat while you held it under the faucet?

I can't wait to try this myself!

Jessica Jones said...

Oh, I untaped it. Sorry, I'll clarify that!

Crystal said...

So cute!!

nanann said...

wow, that is awesome! And I absolutely love how the safety pins aren't at all blobby or anything, very exact!

hmmmm....dreaming what I can do with that.

elke said...

this one is fantastic & the safty pins look great- The possibilities are endless... Thanks

Chelsea said...

That's so cool (and cute)! I really want to try this now...

Shirley of Funchkins said...

Wow, that orange is gorgeous. I'd love to try some out, that is a great project for Summer.

calbrecan said...

Did you use a pattern or tutorial for that bag? I love everything about this project. I have now added it to my list of things to do this year in Girl Scouts.

Jessica Jones said...

I followed the zipper pouch instructions in the book "Sew What! Bags" by Lexie Barnes. But the internet is strewn with zipper pouch tutorials, so if you google you should have many options to choose from.

Amber said...

This is the coolest thing I've seen in awhile! I'm in love.

Michelle L. said...

Ooh!!! Your fabric turned out insanely cute! thanks for the tutorial, gotta try this!

yvo said...

`adorable!

The Zesty Desk said...

Such a cool technique! My sis is majoring in fashion merchandising...going to have to pass this along.

madj said...

this is really cool. can't wait to try it.

able mabel said...

That is so cool! Thinking of the possibilities...

Inhale | Fashion and Beauty said...

that's very cool..
http://inhalefashionandbeauty.blogspot.com/

Miss Loverly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Loverly said...

I took a class in cyanotype and this is basically the same process - but a better selection of colour! Ooh the possibilities! We used photocopied transparencies to get fun images.
Good luck on finding a way to transfer drawings without condensation! Looking forward to it!!!

reanaclaire said...

Very creative and it is beautiful too!

amy grace said...

This is so cute! Love the orange color and the paper clip pattern!

the Dapper Deer said...

These are beautiful! I love all of your work and am excited to read more of your posts. I am new to blogging and stubbled upon your blog, probably because my favorite color is orange. Thanks again for putting lots of effort into your blog.

Rinni's Playground said...

Sheer awesomeness!! I need to get my hands on some of that dye!

Chiara said...

wowwww!!!! It's fantastic!!! :))))

I want it... :)

thank you very very much for this tutorial

ciao ciao

Chiara

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I'm new to all this computer stuff. Everyones comments are interesting but unless I missed it---Where did you buy the product? I sew for my grandchildren and this could be made very personal.
Thanks, Nana

Jessica Jones said...

Nana, you can click the link "Inkodye" in the post or just click here.

Keren Duchan said...

w-o-w !!!!! How cool is that!!! I wish I had sun sensitive die! I love your safety pin result! Awesome!

Mamasha said...

How cool is this!

Cathy Savage said...

This is sooo cool! Love it! I just bought a bunch of dye so I can make fun little pouches, just like you!

http://craftysavage.blogspot.com/

Karla of Dreamaginarius Arts said...

This is amazing!!! Love it! I am already thinking on things I can do with this project. Love it! Thanks for sharing :)

-karla
www.dreamaginarius.com

La Chili said...

This is so great

Kristin L said...

I've got some Inkodye which I painted and stamped with -- I didn't think to try the sunprinting, but yours looks fantastic! I'm going to give that a go too now. :-) One more reason to love Inkodye.

stitchordye said...

I wonder if you let the inkodye dry in a very dark area then put your images on top it might be more successful?

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering, after you bring the material back inside do you just rinse it with water and then wash it like you would regular laundry?

Jessica Jones said...

Yep!

karyn said...

So cool!

Erica Marie said...

This is so freakin' cool!

Erica Marie said...

so freakin' cool....

Anonymous said...

does anyone know if this ink will bleed or run when washed normally (that is AFTER the initial wash to get the extra dye out)?

Jessica Jones said...

It won't bleed or run. I machine-washed some dyed fabric and it may have faded just a tiny bit, but no bleeding.

maya said...

can you tell me where to get that dye please?

Jessica Jones said...

Maya,
http://lumi.co/

Leeroy said...

These were called Rayographs (because of Man Ray) or Photograms. They have been done on photo paper but also on motion picture negative! Which is awesome.

I've done some, with a trail of soil over a few meters of negative. Check it out here: http://vimeo.com/1205393. The poster is a rayograph too, a rather big one with glass bottles on it too (interesting light play).

Jessica Jones said...

So interesting!

jessireejenkins@gmail.com said...

I know this is an old post, but could you use this on just wood and not on fabric?

Jessica Jones said...

Yep! I tried it here.

Hip & Haar said...

I wil try to make a print for my hairclipsboard on www.hipenhaar.nl. Yours looks great!

You've inspired me Jessica!

Thanks!

a1 said...

jamas hubiera imaginado que eso existia!

gracias thanks thanks thanks!!! :)

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